A Death Note Carol

Light's True Face

Here in the Darkness I know myself.

Can't break free until I let it go.

Let me go!

-Lithium, Evanescence.

Light felt blank. Like a sheet of pure black paper. Void. Empty. The heavy weight of his soaked, lifeless sister slowly dissipated and he crouched alone in the endless darkness. No more tears fell; the old ones were dried on his face. There was no pride in him to wipe them away. His misery overrode all other thought.

"What then, would you have me do?" Light whispered, his voice sounding young and lost. "Why did you all wait until now to warn me? What can I do by this point? Rem is in position and L dies tomorrow. I can't save him. Maybe I'll quit being Kira after that. I'll dedicate my life to good, to try and make up for the mistakes I have made."

He heard the flapping of wings overhead. He looked up to see Ryuuk land next to him in the darkness. "Quit being Kira? Hyuk hyuk," the creature chuckled. "What about me?"

"What about you?" Light bit back bitterly but Ryuuk was suddenly gone.

At that moment there was a strange whooshing sound, like a fast and short wind echoing through the darkness. With it came thousands of pictures and images, as if Light were surrounded by television screens, all silently playing moments of his life.

There was one of him and all the family together. He and Sayu were just small children. He was helping Sayu put on her scarf. It was snowing outside. The family were all going out for a meal. He remembered. Sayu had slipped and fell in the road that night. They had all gone home after that. He had screamed and cried too much. His parents had been embarrassed and he had been ashamed at her behaviour. She could have only been seven or eight. He had been young himself. As an adult he was able to see the whole thing as ridiculous. So what if she had cried? His parents just needed to brush her down and give her a hug. But they hadn't. They had gone home in disgrace instead.

Too much pressure too early on.

He walked up to the images of his parents and pressed his hands to them. In the future it seemed that he destroyed them; killing his father and ruining his mother, but perhaps they had been doing that to themselves for so many years.

How much was he like them and they like him? How much pressure did they put on themselves to be the pinnacle of society, to be the very example of a good Japanese family? How much of the love and support between them was nothing more than a selfish desire for them to be the best at everything? Was Sayu, perhaps, the only one unaware? No, of course not. She had lied about being bullied. She had been too ashamed and had not looked to Light or her parents for support. No, she knew. They all knew. All of them were autonomous, self-centered beings pretending to be a single unit. Light could have cried again, but he did not. Enough pointless tears had been shed that night.

He looked to the other images. Different members of the Task Force showed up. Uzawa was playing with his child under a Christmas tree. He looked tired. His skin was pale and his eyes had heavy bags under them, though nothing that rivalled L's of course. His wife watched on. She looked happy but her face was tense. "How often does she get to see her husband?" Light thought. "How long until he is caught and killed by a vengeful, adolescent god?"

As he watched each of them men he spent the most time with nowadays he realised fully how little he knew of them. They were smart and brave. They were sacrificing themselves in order to catch Kira and they knew it. Yet still they pressed on. They were like the foot soldiers in a war. Nameless, forgotten in death yet the bravest and strongest of all.

Yet even while he felt this new respect for them, part of him still looked down on them. They were still stupid, still so naive! L had figured out so early on that he was Kira yet these men still did not believe L. They believed Light because they liked him, he looked good, was polite and had a father they respected. To be so blind, so blinkered, so stupid! And it was this that would kill them in the end, this strong belief on outer appearance and trust in what makes a good Japanese citizen. If only they knew the truth. How would they react? It would be more than finding out they were wrong. It would be more than losing what they considered a co-worker or even friend. It would be a betrayal of their very beliefs. They would react very badly; they may even attack him.

He turned and saw one of L. He was standing in the rain, looking up into the sky. He was soaking wet and looked quite insane. Light walked up to it and watched him closely. Was L sad?

Suddenly an image came past of Light. His face was lit up in a strange red light, similar to the one he had seen earlier that night in the living room during his conversation with Higuchi. Again, like the other images of Light this night, his face was distorted and ugly. At the sight of his grotesque face, suddenly all the rage and frustration and anger that had been building up throughout the night boiled over and Light threw a tantrum.

With a roar of animalistic rage he began to smash the images, each of the exploding into tiny fragments and fading into the ether. He smashed the faces of his family. He smashed the images of his co-workers. He destroyed all visuals of Misa. He wrecked the form of L. Everything was ruined and dispersed before Light fell to his knees, his shoulders heaving with strained breaths.

His eyes were closed tightly, as if he wanted to block out the never ending darkness. "I wonder," he thought suddenly as his mind fought to become lucid once more, "I wonder if this is Mu? The place that is nowhere. A vacuum of time and space. Nothingness and the absence of everything. Could I even describe the place I am as nothing? At least by the standard definition of 'nothing' in a world where there is always 'something'."

As he pondered the exact nature of his torture cell, he became aware of a shift in atmosphere. Things were changing. He was going from, in the loosest sense of the term, from 'nothing' back to 'something.' He could even feel himself changing. It was a strange tingling sensation that soaked right down even to his bones. It wasn't painful but it wasn't pleasant either. It was just strange and unnatural. He took in a deep breath and tried to ignore analysing the feeling too much. He was too squeamish at the thought of his body being altered and the unnatural to cope with whatever Time was doing to him now.

He heard familiar voices around him. "What? A power outage?" He could hear Matsuda stammering. No one responded to him. Computers were beeping. He could hear distant rumblings of a storm outside ("Does it every stop raining in this nightmare?") It seemed there was movement everywhere but from himself.

He shifted slightly. He was sitting down but his knees were drawn up to his chest. His head felt heavier than usual, and he could feel heavy locks curling around his neck and ears. It wasn't horrible, just different. His hair was very soft. A feeling locked around his heart. He felt...sad? Distressed? But he wasn't exhibiting any of those feelings. On the outside he was very much blank.

Light opened his eyes already knowing what had occurred. He looked down at himself. He was wearing jeans. His elongated toes were gripped to the edge of the chair, as if he were terrified of falling off. The only show of his distress perhaps? He blinked, aware of how much bigger his eyes were.

He turned and looked around. He was in the headquarters with the whole task force. He saw his father looking more strained and stressed than ever before. All the lighting was red. There was some sort of emergency. Light wondered what was going on. He didn't remember this. Then he saw himself. He was standing to the side, away from the others, and watching himself (or rather, L) intently. Light gulped. He looked scary.

Instead he looked at the screen. It had Watari's symbol on it.

"Watari." He heard his body say. The voice was soft on his throat. Light almost jumped at the feel and sound of it. For something so familiar to sound so foreign... "Watari?"

The computers were reporting that information had been deleted. Light felt his heart, that was also not his heart, beating wildly. L was panicking staring into the screen as if he could find his mentor in there. Light felt like he was deflating, he knew a lot about what L had gone through, how much he and Gala suffered. L would be destroyed to know that he was losing someone else. Watari was probably the only person he really had. And Light had organised his death. It would have been difficult enough watching this scene, but being inside of L, like a germ or virus, and feeling what he felt, Light felt terrible. Light felt as if in hurting L he had also irreparably damaged himself.

Just as he realised this a shooting pain flew up his left arm. His hand which had been holding something ("probably a spoon or desert fork...knowing L..." Light tried to smile,) became limp and it fell out. Light began to gasp for air at the same time as L.

This...hurt...it hurt... a lot!

Light had no idea how painful heart attacks were.

The pain crawled up mercilessly wrapping itself around his heart. Light desired to put his hands against his chest, as if to try and protect it from its sneaky, hidden assailant. But L did not so he could not. Instead, his body became weak, his toes loosened off the edge of the chair, and he fell to the ground.

Thoughts whirled and became confused. L's mind was dying. Light wanted to scream. It was awful. He could feel it, once bright and powerful, now flickering and fading, like a computer breaking down. It was a tragedy. The inevitability of what was going to happen to L in a few moments was tragic to the point where Light felt he was going to be physically sick. All the hate and jealousy and frustration Light had felt towards L suddenly seemed miniscule; it seemed like nothing more than a petty vendetta. Light felt a little shame within himself before his own body and emotions were once more over rode by the force of L's dying.

Several memories and images flashed though L's mind. Light couldn't understand them. They flew passed him. As he tried to reach out to them, tried to understand them, his memories and thoughts got mixed up with them. It gave him a horrible confused sensation, like feeling terribly travel sick.

L should have hit the floor, but he felt someone holding them.

Light felt a brief rush of relief. He didn't want to feel L die on the cold hard floor. It was too much. He had held Sayu, it was a small kindness he could offer; his only way of an apology for all he had put her through. Thank god, thank god someone could do the same for L!

Light opened up wide eyes that were not his own and looked at his saviour. Suddenly, both his and L's aching hearts momentarily stopped. There was Light, looking down on them. His face was shaded in red and it looked evil. His eyes were squinted and deformed. An ugly sneer stretched across the lower part of his face. His nose looked small and up turned.

L's dying thoughts flicked around Light.


"What, L? What is it?" Light stretched out his hand desperate to catch his fellow man. He needed to know! He needed to know what l had thought in those final moments! What he had thought of Light! His mind wheeled in shock and horror and confusion. That was what he looked? To L, as Kira, that's what he looked like? The Spirits were not lying to him, not teasing him? They were showing him what he became! And that L saw that made Light's insides burn with shame.

The horrible vision of Light faded to black, and Light and L began to separate. L was fading away he was disappearing into the black ether that Light knew so well. Only now, Light found he could not follow him. Instead he was pulled backwards into reality. His thoughts became fully his own once more.

"No, no, no, no," he repeated the litany over and over. He could not look like that! Did not look like that! He was not that creature! He couldn't cope with the fact that that face was the last thing L saw! That he had pulled such a hideous expression! That he was that ugly, underneath it all.

Suddenly, he forced out of L and pushed into his own body in a manner so rough it hurt.

He gasped in shock. His arms were heavy. He looked down just in time to see L close his eyes. Light had killed many, many times. But never had he felt the weight of someone he had killed in his arms before this night.

First Sayu, now L.

The weight and guilt of his crimes lay in his arms. He had seen his true face.

Light screamed.

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